First New Car Ever - 2018 Chevy Tahoe - First Oil Change?


I just bought my first new car ever. I’m very new to having a car that doesn’t shake, sputter, or break down!

Question I have is how soon should I change my oil for the first time? I couldn’t find anything in the manual about this and the oil life gage still shows 79% life left, but I just know that most cars back in the day were sold with break-in oil and it had to be changed after the first 1500 miles.

I’m at 1700 miles currently.


  • Colby
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You can likely go to 5,000 miles before changing the oil and filter, but I’d probably change them at 3,000 miles the first time, then 5,000 miles after that. It goes without saying that it is best to follow what the manufacturer says in the maintenance schedule of the owner’s manual of course. And be sure to use the exact oil specification it calls for. That way you won’t have to worry about voiding the warranty. As far as I can see there’s no miles interval stated for the oil and filter, just to follow what the computer oil life indicator says. I still wouldn’t go beyond 5,000 miles even so. Common sense says to check the oil condition and level visually on the dipstick once a week or so. There’s a bulletin on problems that come with using off-brand oil filters on the 5.3 L engine. Make sure your shop uses a good quality oil filter when it comes time to change it. Buying your oil filters from the GM dealership shop makes sense.

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Your manual does have a service schedule in it. And break in oil is a thing of the past .

Your car has a very sophisticated oil life monitor and it will tell you when to change the oil. The only exception would be if you go longer than one year, then change it at the one year mark. Otherwise schedule an oil change when the oil life monitor indicates 10%. I’m a professional mechanic. I too have a 2018 GM SUV and the first oil change was at about 6000 miles.

Do remember to check the oil level periodically to make sure it’s at the safe level.

Yeah that used to be the case and we’d change oil at 2000 miles. Now I think I’d just stick to the 5000 mile interval. I changed the Acura at 5000 miles and 50% OLM but checked with the dealer first who saw no problem. I continue to change oil at 5000 miles and about 50% and I don’t care what anyone says. Its my car and no way I’m going beyond 5000.

Both engines and oils are made a lot better than they used to be. I would still change it for the first time at 3000 miles and then go by the oil life monitor after that. This car may call for synthetic oil. USE IT as the OLM is calibrated to expect it as are the other parts of the engine. I am a 5000 mile guy now personally but it depends on how you drive. If you pull the stick and the oil still looks clean at 5000 miles and the OLM says there is a lot of life left, then just go with it. Remember that engines burn a lot cleaner and are made better so there is less unburned fuel and blowby to contaminate the oil.

Oil also holds up longer.

GM has an excellent oil life monitor. If you follow it, you should never notice a difference in any measurable engine wear over the life of the car.

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I agree with those that recommend following GM’s oil life monitor. It measures the key factors that affect oil life. Of course, you’re free to change it more frequently. I wouldn’t argue with anyone that changes it at, say 80%. At 50%? I think it’s a waste of money, but it’s their money.

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The service schedule for my 2010 CX-7 says every 4 months or 5k miles and calls for 5w30 oil. While it doesn’t specify synthetic, I use it anyways due to the turbo charger the factory put on it- it also recommends premium but doesn’t require it, yet I have not put one tank of 87 octane in it the 8 years I’ve owned it. It holds 6 quarts of oi, so I get charged extra for more oil when the shop changes it.

The 2018 Mustang I just bought says to let the maintenance monitor let you know when to change the oil, or once a year, whichever happens first. It specifies I use 5w20 full synthetic, so that’s what it’ll get. It also recommends premium, but does not require it, which is odd since it’s a performance engine- I paid for 460hp, I’m using the good stuff to get it. I’m not really looking forward to having to pay for the oil changes since the manual says it holds 10 quarts of oil, but again, I paid for the power, no use crying over burnt rubber.